State Benefits Series: Each state has their own department of veterans affairs, but many veterans are not aware of what benefits these state departments offer that are different from the federal Dept. VA. This series hopes to clear that up. In alphabetical order, we will tell you what each state offers. Some articles will have just one state, and some will have several states.
Each state is divided into several categories, so you can easily see an overview of the benefits available in that section. The categories are: Education, Employment/Retirement, Taxes, Vehicle Licensing, Death/Burial, and Other Benefits.
Free undergraduate tuition at a state supported university: Tuition and fee waiver for undergraduate education at a state supported university, as long as the student maintains good academic standing.
Current member of the National Guard
The spouse or dependent of a military member who died in the line of duty, or from injuries sustained the in line of duty, or was listed as a POW or as MIA.
Hiring preference for state jobs: When a rating is used to determine job qualifications, veterans receive a 5 or 10% increase, based on additional qualifications. When no rating is used, veterans are marked as “given extra consideration,” or automatically given an opportunity to interview.
Alaska Job Center Network: A program designed to assist veterans in finding quality employment. Among other things offered are: Priority job referral, career counseling, workshops, testing, and resume assistance.
Retirement bonuses: Some retired members of the military who are also participating in a select few retirement programs may be entitled to additional benefits from their retirement program due to their military service. Please contact the agencies listed below to find out about your potential military credit.
Division Communication, contact email@example.com
Real estate property tax exemption: Veterans rated at 50% or more disabled are exempt from property taxes on the first $150,000 of assessed value. The local municipal tax office must be contacted by March 15 of the current tax year.
Land Purchase Preference/discount: When residentially zoned state owned land is to be auctioned, veterans have the opportunity to purchase the land prior to the auction at a fair market value. Once during the veteran’s lifetime a 25% discount may be used when purchasing such land.
Disabled parking permits: Veterans with a 50% or greater disability rating are entitled to a disability parking permit from the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles.
Home Loans: The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation works with veterans to provide home loans with lower interest rates and often 0 down payments.
Discounted hunting and fishing licenses/state camping pass: Veterans who are 50% or more disabled are able to apply for a free hunting or fishing license. The same veterans are also able to receive one free, two-year camping pass for all developed state camp grounds.
Ferry passes: A veteran who is 50% or more disabled is able to receive a pass at a 50% discounted price for all inter-Alaskan ports, year round, and on all vessels.
Photo thanks to Arthur Chapman under creative commons license on Flickr.